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Atlas/Craftsman 12x36" lathe...questions

pontiac428

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What is the correct HP rating for this lathe, and any suggestions on a quick-style tool post?
These came with 1/4 and 1/2 HP motors. For quick change tool posts, an Asian import AXA setup works great on these lathes.
 

Jason280

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Any suggestions on how to measure/check the ways? I have a few Starrett precision levels, mics, etc...
 

pontiac428

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The ultimate proof is to cut a test bar, but a straight edge and an eyeball will tell you everything you need to know. My Atlas has enough wear to account for, and my bed is in exemplary condition. I can't see it, but I can feel it when I adjust the gibs. It's there. The pictures of your bed grabbed my attention, even though it's hard to tell from pics. I don't want to be the first guy to cry wolf, but I would be concerned with the wear on that bed before investing a ton of work into the lathe. Like I said, you can get beds for Atlas lathes for near scrap prices these days as old lathes come out of basements at estate sales and go on eBay and CL, so it's not the end of the world. Check it now so you can make a plan going ahead.
 

Jason280

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Loaded question of the day...let's say I can get this lathe back to near 100%, how would it compare with a South Bend Heavy 10 from the 40's??
 

jwmay

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It wouldn’t. Because they aren’t meant for the same work. 5FCBB5B2-57C2-41E8-BD02-61BD5512E25F.jpegKeep in mind your particular version is not a 10f, but it shares enough parts and pieces to be considered the same machine by most.
 

jwmay

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But...I believe you already know how most people feel. I’m gonna get a Southbend machine someday just so I have a personal opinion. A Heavy 10 would be harder to get in a basement. Parts are probably more expensive. It’s got those pesky v ways. It weighs twice as much. It’s made of cast iron and steel...all of it. Everybody wants one. I don’t see the draw. :confused:
 

Jason280

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Only reason I ask, a nice Heavy 10 just popped up....price seems a little high at $3k, but I really have no idea how to price one.
 

jwmay

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Well the good thing is there will always be another one, especially at that price. I’m sure they’re good machines, but this lathe you’ve already got can also provide you with just as much fun. I really like Atlas Craftsman machines though, so it’s not an unbiased view you are getting from me. I’d have one just like yours if I ever found one at the right price...at the right time...at the right location.
 

wa5cab

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Atlas recommended a 1/2 HP motor for their 10" and for the 12" up through 101.27440. These are all 3/8" bed machines. And 3/4 HP for the 1/2" bed machines. If you later should happen to install a variable speed DC or 3-Phase motor, bump that up one step to maintain power and cooling at less than rated motor RPM.
 

Jason280

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How difficult is it to simply convert over to a variable speed DC motor? I have an extra AC motor I can use right now, bit might consider the DC of it isn't too complicated.

I monkeyed around with the tailstock a bit this morning, and removed the bolts, rear handle (what's left of it), and lower clamp. The center is pretty well stuck in, but I haven't gotten too aggressive with removing it. Isn't it simply tapered fit? Should I just try drifting it out with a brass wedge and some firm whacks with a 3lb hammer? My concern is bending the actual tail portion, it looks to be fully extended.
 

markba633csi

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Hi Jason, variable speed is great, definitely consider doing it at some point, some folks take apart old treadmills for the motor and controller.
Once you have variable you won't want to go back, it's so handy
Mark
ps I saw your bed it looked like some rust which should clean up with oil and a plastic scrubbing pad- don't use sandpaper or emery cloth
Keep working with the tailstock, it may take a week or more of soaking and tapping to free it- use blocks of wood to protect the metal- some gentle heat from a heat gun or hair dryer may do the trick
 
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Jason280

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Yes, it's been removed...

Haven't had a chance to do much else with it, but I did snag some carbide lathe tooling...


 

wa5cab

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Bit of terminology - the common name for the movable part of a tailstock is the ram. It does not rotate. A quill is the rotating and extendable part of a vertical mill or drill press and of some (?) horizontal boring machines.

Yes, the tailstock ram on all Atlas and Atlas Craftsman 9", 10" and 12" lathes has a 2MT taper. The way to eject any 2MT center or arbor from the tailstock ram is to retract the ram. If the arbor or center does not have an extraction key on the small end, the taper will hit the end of the feed screw slightly below zero on the scale on top of the ram. If the taper does have the key, the extraction point is just under 1/2" on the scale. Any beating or banging on the external part of the live center will probably damage it and make it unusable. If you ever get the ram freed up, crank it back into the tailstock and try to extract the center that way. If it is too badly stuck, crank the ram completely out of the tailstock and use a hardened pin small enough to slip into the threaded hole in the back of the ram and a hammer or press and try to get it out that way.
 

jwmay

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I agree that it can be called a ram. But calling it a quill isn’t wrong either. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Or here’s two pictures, one for each of us, with a third term thrown in for good measure. F1CEE6C5-FA3F-4EB3-B8DB-48AA58D9EB1D.png8C4FFA7B-B272-4016-BF55-B136506466CB.png :high 5: To the OP, Wa5cab and I are referring to the same thing. His advice though, is laid out better.
 

Bi11Hudson

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A day late and a dollar short... again. I made a comment and haven't been following closely since.

As far as the motor goes, my 101.27440 is rated for up to 1/2 HP. What I have mounted is a 1/3 HP Baldor. If I was to go variable speed, it would be in the 3/4HP range. Or maybe even up to 1.0 HP. That to allow for the losses inherent to going below base speed with the motor.
Conceded, I do mostly small work so motor size doesn't play a large part. But I have done larger work, front brake disks; removing the disk from the hub and the machine never slowed down. So 1/3 HP is doable and short of commercial work, probably heavy enough.

As for the tail stock, the best I can say is to soak it for a couple of days, basically what you're doing now. Then retracting it as far as it will go, as already advised. It is a MT-2 and once broken loose, it's free. I have another machine with a MT-3 head and a MT-2 tail. Had to shorten the tail stock centers to fit the small machine and then they were too short to get out of the big machine. Drilled and tapped the backside for a screw to contact the tail stock ram when it was retracted. And removed the screw when I wanted to use the center in the small machine. I had the same problem on acquisition, but don't remember how I fixed it. Just that it was no big deal. And touched up the ram with a reamer before fine tuning.

Bill Hudson​
 

Jason280

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SUCCESS!! Sort of...

I was able to get the ram retracted and the center out, but it's still pretty hard to turn. How do I get the assembly apart further? I'm almost convinced to buy a new tailstock, simply because I am not sure I will be able to clean it up enough....plus, I'll never be able to see the marks.

img]https://www.AR15.Com/media/mediaFiles/15608/20190418_060629_jpg-916359.JPG[/img]


 

Jason280

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I also had a chance to get a few pics of the bed, at least once I cleaned it up a bit. I wasn't able to run an indicator on anything through the headstock, but did take a few pics with a Starrett 98 level...not sure that really tells me much of anything, but I did find a few places where I could slide in a 0.005" shim. Of course, I think the concern is wear where the apron slides, but it seems negligible (best I can tell).









 

pontiac428

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Okay, those pictures are much clearer than the first, where the worn corner looked more pronounced. The wear surfaces of concern are the outer edges, 90 degrees to the outside of the top flats of the bed. Looking down from the top, these lathes wear a waist near the head stock. The worn corner is from swarf coming off of the work, and will not affect anything. I think the original pic of the bed made it look significantly worse than it appears in the new pics. May not be a problem after all.

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Bi11Hudson

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OK, now the really dumb question about model numbers. My machine is a 101.27440. It looks identical to the machine in this post. The author presents two different part numbers, 101.0743 and 101.20140. ?What is the difference here, why so many numbers for what looks more or less the same? I'm confused, I think...
 

ARC-170

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I have a similar lathe and am going thru a similar process. I pulled the gears and bearings off to clean them. Mine had gunk that needed to be manually cleaned off and this was much easier to do with the parts off the machine. I used a wood paint stick and shaped the end to fit between the gears. Also, if you pull the spindle off, you can see dates on the bearings which will tell you when your lathe was made (as long as they are the original ones). I had grease and gunk in various places that I would not have found had I not disassembled the machine.

I used a combination of Simple Green (it can take paint off!) and kerosene (bought some at Home Depot or Lowes) for solvents. I set up a box fan to blow away the fumes while I worked in my garage with the main door open.

Take picture before so you can re-assemble it correctly, and/or have the parts diagrams handy. I printed mine out and used magnets to post them up by my work space.

I have an extra tail stock that might fit if you can't get yours un-stuck. PM me and we can figure something out.
 

wa5cab

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Bill,

The 101.07403 is a Change Gear lathe (no QCGB). Up until circa 1947, it came in four different bed lengths, 36", 42", 48" and 54", corresponding to distance between centers of 18", 24", 30" and 36". These had four different Catalog Numbers but only the one Model Number. After 1947, Atlas quit making the 36" and 48" beds.

The 101.27430 (12 x 24) and 101.27440 (12 x 36) were a 101.07403 of the correct bed length with the left lead screw bearing removed, the QCGB added, the Tumbler compound gear (10-101-16A) replaced by a 1546, and the only change gears supplied being the three installed on the lathe (40T & 2 x 48T). Those are the only differences.
 

Jason280

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I pulled the gears and bearings off to clean them.
How difficult is it to pull all the gears, including the bull/headstock gears?
 

ARC-170

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Jason280

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Thanks!

I bit the bullet and went ahead and ordered a replacement tailstock off eBay. By the time I replace the ram/quill, rear wheel, etc, I would have just about the same amount in it as the replacement....which doesn't need any work. Now, I just need to pick up a live/dead center, drill chuck, and a quick style tool holder.
 

wa5cab

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Jason,

The instructions that Jeff referred to are those for pulling the spindle out of the headstock. When you have removed the spindle from the headstock, you will have removed all of the parts from the spindle except for the large spindle bearing cone (spindle head bearing cone). I am pretty sure that removing that cone from the spindle will be potentially destructive to the bearing, as you will be pulling on the rollers and cage if you do it. I don't think that the bearing cone inner race big end is much larger than the flange on the spindle. So my recommendation would be to only pull the cone if you intended to replace it. Done correctly (for example, as Jeff did it), no damage should be done to anything else.
 

wa5cab

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Bill,

I forgot to add that the model number 101.20140 is the model number of the QCGB add-on kit. It will not appear on the GB on a 101.27430 or 101.27440 because it is already a part of those machines. FYI, the 101.20140 could be retrofitted to any of the 3/8" bed 12" machines, all the way back to the 101.07360.
 

Jason280

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The more I think about it, the more I believe I will just clean everything up as best I can with the gears in place...no sense in potentially damaging anything unnecessarily. First thing I need to source is some SAE 20 non-detergent oil, as well as a modern equivalent to Keystone No 122 grease.... not sure either are sold locally.

I've also been looking at the different quick change tool post holders, are the generic imported models pretty much all the same?
 
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